Tauranga social service agencies are seeing more and more working families struggling to make ends meet.
I'm not surprised.
House prices have shot up, which has in turn forced rents up but there has been little, if any, change in what people are being paid.
On Saturday we reported the latest figures from Work and Income showed emergency grants for food, accommodation and medical costs had gone up 54 per cent in the Bay of Plenty in the last year.
Tauranga Community Foodbank said the number of working families asking for help was growing.
They are exactly the sort of people we should be supporting.
We have one of the best social welfare systems in the world. There is no reason for anyone to go without - especially working parents struggling to make ends meet.
I'm all for helping people out - as long as they are doing all they can themselves.
In my view, working families are exactly who these emergency grants are for.
It's for helping parents who are doing all they can to support their families. It's for helping those people working 40 hours a week, or even more, in low paying jobs.
Why should their families go without when they work just as hard as many others but, for whatever reason, get paid less?
Someone needs to do those jobs so we need to support those who are.
It's concerning that it is becoming so hard for working families to get by. Being a stay-at-home parents is becoming a thing of the past - in large part because families can't afford to live on one wage.
There is no simple solution to the situation. Something needs to change but I have no idea what will fix it without having an even worse flow-on effect.
I'm just glad we have a system that can give people a hand when times are tough.
Working parents, don't be ashamed to ask for help when you can't do it yourself.